United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING COMPLAINT AND DISMISSING
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge. [*]
Jerry Voland, who is incarcerated at New Castle Correctional
Facility, filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated.
This matter comes before the court on the plaintiff's
petition for leave to proceed without prepaying the full
is required to pay the $350.00 statutory filing fee for this
action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). If a
prisoner does not have the money to pay the filing fee, he
can request leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Plaintiff has filed a certified copy of his prison trust
account statement for the six-month period immediately
preceding the filing fee of his complaint, as required under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2), and has been assessed and paid
an initial partial filing fee of $27.54. Thus,
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
will be granted.
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hutchinson ex
rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not
necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts and his
statement need only “give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S.
41, 47 (1957)). However, a complaint that offers
“labels and conclusions” or “formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
court accepts the factual allegations as true and liberally
construes them in the plaintiff's favor. Turley v.
Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). The
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter “that
is plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Furthermore,
the complaint's allegations “must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted). The
court is obliged to give the plaintiff's pro se
allegations, “however inartfully pleaded, ” a
liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
follow the principles set forth in Twombly by first,
“identifying pleadings that, because they are no more
than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal
conclusions must be supported by factual allegations.
Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
the court must, second, “assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id.
OF THE COMPLAINT
appears from the complaint that Voland is attempting to
allege violations of his First and Eighth Amendment rights.
According to Voland, he was assaulted on August 21, 2015, and
required medical attention. He reported the assault on the
day it occurred, and he filed a medical request the following
day, August 22, 2015. He also alleges that he continued to
complain of his injuries to correctional and medical staff
from August 26, 2015, and onward, but that they disregarded
his complaints and request for medical attention.
Specifically, he alleges that he reported the matter on
September 8, September 26, and October 6, 2015, and received
no response. On October 15, 2015, Voland filed a formal
grievance. Lastly, Voland complains generically of pain in
his neck, left arm, hand, and fingers; however, Voland does
not allege the source of this pain or whether it was caused
by the alleged attack. He also complains of a pinched nerve.
Based upon these allegations, Voland claims that the
correctional and medical staff were deliberately indifferent
to his medical complaints and that their inaction was in
retaliation for his previously filed medical complaints.
order to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was deprived of a
right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States and (2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a
person or persons acting under color of state law.
Buchanan-Moore v. Cty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824,
827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Kramer v. Vill. of N. Fond du
Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see also
Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). Voland
alleges that nine different defendants violated his First and
Eighth Amendment rights. For ease of understanding, the court
will address similar claims together. First, the court will
address the claims against the Corizon Correctional Medical
Corporation (“Corizon”) staff, who provide
medical services to the New Castle Correctional Facility.
Next, the court will address the claim directly against
Corizon. Then, the court will address the claims based on a
supervisory liability theory against Defendants Lemmon,
Butts, and Miller. Lastly, the court will address the claim
against Defendant Smith.
Eighth Amendment Claim Against the Corizon
alleges that Defendants Nurse Mcnew, Nurse Practioner Dawson,
Nurse Mullins, Doctor Loveridge, and Doctor Epple, who are
all Corizon staff, did not provide required medical care in
the form of diagnosis and treatment, in violation of the
Eighth Amendments. The Eighth Amendment prohibits
“cruel and unusual punishments” and imposes a
duty on prison officials to take reasonable measures to
ensure that the inmate receives adequate medical care.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 823, 832 (1994). Prison
officials violate the Constitution if they are deliberately
indifferent to an inmate's serious medical needs.
Id. (citing Estelle, 429 U.S. at 103).
demonstrate deliberate indifference, a plaintiff must show
“actual knowledge by the officials and guards of the
existence of the substantial risk and that the officials had
considered the possibility that the risk could cause serious
harm.” Washington v. LaPorte Cty. Sheriff's
Dept., 306 F.3d 515, 518 (7th Cir. 2002) (citing
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834). Stating this another way,
a plaintiff must demonstrate that he had an objectively
serious medical condition and that the defendants were
subjectively aware of and consciously disregarded that
condition. Id. at 837. A medical need is considered
sufficiently serious if the inmate's condition “has
been diagnosed by a physician mandating treatment or . . . is
so obvious that even a lay person would perceive the need for
a doctor's attention.” Roe v. Elyea, 631
F.3d 843, 857 (7th Cir. 2011) (citations omitted). Ordinary
negligence by prison officials, ...